Handwriting Without Tears
Handwriting Without Tears is a method of teaching handwriting developed by Jan Z. Olsen, OTR. It – follows a developmental sequence of imitation of letter formation, followed by copying, and finally independent writing. Olsen’s theory is meant to give the best chance for success in writing letters and to teach correct motor habits. The Handwriting Without Tears method uses activities that incorporate tactile and kinesthetic input and exploration in addition to games, songs, and rhymes in order to capture the child’s interest and help them to develop handwriting readiness. The Handwriting Without Tears workbooks begin with basic school readiness skills and continue through manuscript and cursive writing.
Sensory Integration Therapy
Sensory Integration (SI) is an unconscious process of the brain. It occurs without us thinking about it- like breathing. It helps us organize information detected by our senses (taste, sight, hearing, touch, smell, movement, gravity, and position). It gives meaning to what we experience by sifting through all the information and selecting what to focus on (such as listening to a teacher and ignoring the noise of outside traffic). It allows us to act or respond to the situation we are experiencing in a purposeful manner (known as an adaptive response). Sensory integration forms the underlying foundation for academic learning and social behavior. (Sensory Integration and the Child, A. Jean Ayres, 2005)
TheraTogs were designed and developed by Beverly Cusick, PT, MS. It is an orthotic undergarment and strapping system, which is worn by children with sensorimotor impairments, and specific musculoskeletal, posture, balance, and movement issues. TheraTogs are custom fit to promote bone and joint development, joint stability, and improved body awarenenss, posture, balance, gait movement skills, and motor performance.
SPIO is a compression garment designed to help children with special needs including cerebral palsy, autism, Down Syndrome, sensory processing disorders, and other neuro-muscular delays. SPIO is made of a patented Lycra fabric with a unique multi-directional stretch. SPIO offers a variety of comfortable and affordable styles that can be worn under clothing all day.
NDT is a therapy approach developed by Carl and Berta Bobath in the 1950’s. It was originally developed to provide treatment to children with Cerebral Palsy, but over the years has expanded to encompass a broader range of conditions. NDT is a movement and function oriented technique of inhibiting muscle groups that cause abnormal muscle use and facilitating functional movement patterns.
The Greenspan intervention method revolves around a concept he calls “floor time” — time which the caregivers/therapists, spend entering the child’s activities and following the child’s lead. If the child wants to line up cars in a row or twirl a top, the parents will join the child in his or her preferred activity (with the intent of developing this action into an affective interaction) rather than demanding that the child join them in their preferred activity (a process which, at best, will produce no more than rote action and reaction).
Yoga is about creating balance in the body through developing both strength and flexibility. This is done through the performance of poses or postures, each of which has specific physical benefits. The postures can be done slowly to increase endurance and to perfect the alignment of the posture.
Myofascial Release Technique
Myofascial Release is a highly specialized stretching
technique used by therapists to treat patients with a variety of soft tissue
Fascia is a thin tissue that covers all the organs of the body. This tissue covers every muscle and every fiber within each muscle. All muscle stretching, then, is actually stretching of the fascia and the muscle, the myofascial unit. When muscle fibers are injured, the fibers and the fascia which surrounds it become short and tight. This uneven stress can be transmitted through the fascia to other parts of the body, causing pain and a variety of other symptoms in areas you often wouldn’t expect. Myofascial Release treats these symptoms by releasing the uneven tightness in injured fascia.
Brain Gym was developed in the 1970’s by Dr. Paul Dennison, who pulled ideas from yoga, developmental optometry, applied kinesiology, and traditional Chinese medicine. It was based on a precept that every learning situation is comprised of sensory input, integration and assimilation, and action. Brain Gym is made up of simple and enjoyable movements and activities designed to facilitate each step of the learning process by “waking up the mind/body system, and bringing it to learning readiness”. There are 26 different movements associated with Brain Gym. They can be categorized into groups, such as Midline Movements, Deepening Attitudes, Lengthening Exercises, and Repatterning, and mixed/matched as appropriate to the needs of the individual person. Therapists may often incorporate these movements into a child’s session to help them achieve their individual goals.
Therapeutic Listening (TL) is an expansion of Sensory Integration. It is an auditory intervention that uses the organized sound patterns inherent in music to impact all levels of the nervous system. Auditory information from Therapeutic Listening CDs provides direct input to both the vestibular and the auditory portions of the vestibular-cochlear continuum. The emphasis of TL is on blending sound intervention strategies with vestibulo-proprioceptive, core development, and breath activities so as to sustain grounding and centering of the body and mind in space and time. Therapeutic Listening supports difficulties with posture, movement, auditory processing, attention, language and/or learning skills.